About anniversaries and the EE Anniversarial
It seems a human characteristic as natural as socialization for us to mark and show an interest in anniversaries — combining our acute sense of the passage of time with the desire to find, and to be, part of a pattern of significance.
"History is philosophy teaching by example . . ."
While an anniversarial reminds us of the famous, we also discover figures like the radical publisher Joseph Johnson, whose professional and intellectual activities linked figures like Joseph Priestley, Erasmus Darwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Tom Paine, Henry Fuseli and William Cowper. It was thanks to Johnson, for example, that Henry Fuseli, German-Swiss painter of such Romantic canvases as The Nightmare (1781), assisted Cowper with his translation of Homer; the three of them also engaged in a plan for a luxury edition of Milton.
We will be providing anniversary entries for half-centenary dates between 200 and 350 years — though we may occasionally add entries between these dates for anniversaries of particular interest to our readers or ourselves. These anniversaries will not only highlight obvious figures and events; they will also demonstrate how an historical resource like EE can dramatically expand our understanding of the density and complexity of human history, in a way that traditional historical resources could never do.
From anniversary note to study guide
Over time, these anniversary entries will build into a collection of person-, event- and topic-specific items that can act as a seed-kernel for more extended studies. And over the coming year we will be inviting our readers to become involved in the development of these study areas, many of which may become the link for a discussion group within EE's Coffee-house.